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10 The PCB Design Magazine • April 2017 Andy Shaughnessy is managing editor of The PCB Design Magazine. He has been covering PCB design for 18 years. He can be reached by clicking here. high-tech materials are softer and pose prob- lems with adhesion and registration. But many of the problems cited by designers centered on the lack of good data for advanced materials. Designers say they have a tough time finding material properties, much less simulation mod- els, for high-speed materials. Why? It can take a year or more for a new material to be launched, so many PCB materi- als are released without being fully tested and characterized. When electrical engineer "gu- rus" in our industry publish their own property measurements on a newly-released high-speed material, the design community (not to men- tion the material supplier) is happy to have the information. As one designer summed it up, "Materials suppliers need to do a better job." If designers had all the information they need about each type of material, they could do a better job of educating their customers at the OEMs about "what they actually need," as another respon- dent put it. So, this month, we feature interviews with a variety of experts. Summit Interconnect's Gerry Partida and All Flex Flexible Circuits' Joe Men- ning spoke with our editorial team about the state of advanced materials from the fabricators' viewpoint. Craig Davidson of TTM explains the company's pursuit of embedded optical inter- connect and the challenges surrounding optical PCBs. Bruce Mahler of Ohmega Technologies examines Ohmega's resistive material technol- ogy and some of the drivers and issues in that segment of the industry. And APCT's Steve Rob- inson discusses his company's focus on working with PCB designers and engineers to create ad- vanced, high-speed PCBs. Plus, columnist John Coonrod of Rogers Corporation discusses some of the challenges and remedies for woven glass weave effect. In addition, we bring you columns by our regular contributors, Barry Olney of In-Circuit Design, and Alistair Little of Electrolube. We also have Judy Warner's interview with Altium's Lawrence Romine, who explains why this EDA company prefers to focus directly on the PCB designer and his needs. And we have an article about the upcoming TIE PCB design confer- ence in Romania, which features a PCB design contest that draws engineering students from across Romania. Show season is slowing down, but I'll be at SMTA Atlanta in Duluth, Georgia, on April 19. The PCB Designers Roundtable is always a real treat, like a psychiatrist's couch, as one attendee once described it. If you're in metro Atlanta, check it out. See you next month! PCBDESIGN THE STATE OF HIGH-SPEED MATERIALS Scientists at NTNU and SINTEF are working in- tensely to move battery development several critical steps forward. The difference between an ordinary op- tical (or light) microscope and a transmission electron microscope (TEM) is huge – or in reality, quite minis- cule. An ordinary optical microscope has a magnifying power up to 2,000 times. An electron microscope can magnify a further 2,000 times – or 4 million times. Electron microscopy offers battery researchers an- other important feature: they can see the types of at- oms in question—in other words, the chemical com- position of the material.what the material is. Is the specimen that scientists are observing in the microscope arranged in certain patterns, or are the atoms more randomly distributed? The organization of the atoms in the battery components can actually change when the battery is used. The electron micro- scope makes it possible for scientists to also study the battery's behaviour and material while it is being used. Where are the atoms and how do they bond to each other? What connections do they form before testing? Where are the different atoms and what con- stellations do they create at the end of testing? And last but not least – what happens to the atoms when battery power begins to decline? Scientists use what they learn to adjust and set up the next testing. Super Microscopes Help Make Greener Batteries

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